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Ultimate Ears UE WonderBoom speaker review: Rugged, affordable, lovable

Logitech’s Ultimate Ears UE WonderBoom speakers are portable Bluetooth blasters that pump out impressive full-bodied sound, but that’s just the tip of why we love them. Here’s our full review of these colourful, supremely rugged mini speakers.

Under the Ultimate Ears branding, tech heavyweight Logitech offers some serious party speakers that are designed to be tossed around and really enjoyed. The likes of the MegaBoom and the UE Boom 2 deliver impressive 360-degree audio, complete with a near-indestructible construction that can survive all kinds of punishment.

The first new Ultimate Ears creation for 2017 is the UE WonderBoom, a dinky and even more portable version of the existing line-up. The WonderBoom offers the same rugged build quality and lovability of its bigger brothers, but with a more affordable asking price and pleasingly simple setup.

Here’s our full UE WonderBoom speaker review and check out our full unboxing, setup and review video at the end to see these Bluetooth blasters in action.

Read next: The best wireless and Bluetooth speakers for your mobile phone

Ultimate Ears UE WonderBoom speaker review: Design

While the UE Boom 2 and other Ultimate Ears speakers were long, thin and rather big, the new WonderBooms enjoy a more compact design. These squat devices still enjoy a solid heft of course, despite that reduced bodywork. And thankfully they’re just as tough too. Ultimate Ears quoted a safe drop distance of five feet, but we’ve seen our review units hurled around and slammed into solid surfaces and they’re still going strong, with no visible (or audible) damage.

As well as that drop resistance, the WonderBoom speakers can also be thrown into bathtubs, swimming pools and any other body of fresh water. We had them blasting punk rock in the shower, without any kind of complaint. Audio quality stays pretty strong, even when they’re getting a soaking.

You can pick up these speakers in a variety of colours; six in all, to be precise. These include ‘Stone’, ‘Phantom’, ‘Fireball’, ‘Sub Zero’, ‘Cashmere’ and ‘Lilac’. In other words, grey, black, red, blue, pink and…uh, lilac. Not sure why poor old lilac didn’t get a more sexy name, but there you go.

The more vibrant models such as the blue and red versions certainly stand out and look fantastic, with a different hue for the top-mounted button, volume buttons and handy fabric loop.

Ultimate Ears UE WonderBoom speaker review: Setup

Besides those massive side-mounted volume controls, the rest of the WonderBoom’s buttons are minimalist. You have a tiny Bluetooth button for connecting to your phone, as well as a single UE button up top which does everything from pause and skip your songs to connect the speaker to a partner.

Simplicity is the key here, and the WonderBoom is definitely easy to setup and operate. Once it’s charged up (via the covered-up micro USB port hidden away beneath the speaker), simply prod that Bluetooth button and look for the device to pop up in your phone’s BT menu. The two should pair in an instant.

You can then pair up a second WonderBoom speaker, if you so desire, extending your audio range significantly. To do so, just hold down that UE button on both speakers and they’ll discover each other in around ten seconds. At this point they’ll sync up perfectly, playing the same music with no kind of lag or stutter.

Job, as they say, done.

Ultimate Ears UE WonderBoom speaker review: Features and user experience

You can only pair up two of the UE WonderBoom speakers at once, but they put out an impressive wall of sound. You can even place them up to one hundred feet apart, with no performance issues. We personally tested this out and that’s no ill-founded boast. We had one speaker up in a bedroom and the other down in the garden and they were still communicating perfectly.

There’s no kind of app support with the WonderBoom, but an app really isn’t needed. Just pair one to your mobile, connect them together and then blast whatever music you like. Sadly there’s no WiFi support, but it’s not something we particularly missed.

Sound quality obviously isn’t as strong as with the bigger models, but we’re still very impressed at the audio levels pumped out. On top volume you can really rock out, while the speakers handle hip hop and dance music rather well. Of course, detailing is slightly smothered once you reach peak loudness, but again that’s something we’d expect at this price point.

Basically, for your average house party, the WonderBoom will more than satisfy.

Ultimate Ears UE WonderBoom speaker review: Video review

Check out our experience setting up the UE WonderBoom speakers and giving them a hands-on test in the video below. This shows off their water resistance, ruggedness, basic features and distance performance.

Ultimate Ears UE WonderBoom speaker review: Verdict

If you’re after some affordable Bluetooth speakers for your house parties, the WonderBooms from Ultimate Ears are a surefire hit. They’re easy to setup and use and audio quality is strong considering their size, while the ruggedness factor means you don’t need to worry about spillages and drunken shenanigans. You can cover a flat or small home with great-sounding music, and all for well under £200.

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